Thursday, 4 October 2012
From Country Estates to Council Estates
I am an angler of itchy feet. I like fishing a real range of waters. That might seem like stating the bleeding obvious, but it does affect the way you fish. Hopping waters is exciting, but if you make lots of different detours you really have to think on your feet. Sometimes just getting the day ticket is a mission. Like at Shobrooke Lake, Devon- where you hand over your cash at surely one of the most unlikely combined businesses in the land (Ladd's Computers and Guns) for the not incredibly cheap rate of £12.50. "Yeah, I want a day ticket please. Oh, and while I'm here I'll take a Dell lap top and that great big shotgun. Yeah, that one. I'm thinking of an internet fuelled killing spree. Maybe I can chuck the bodies in the lake while I have a crack at some roach on the waggler." And if that seemed a bit unlikely, you'd might also wonder what I was doing lobbing out a spomb packed with hempseed and 10mm boilies. No, I haven't sold my soul to Satan or (xxxx insert Godless tackle company as applicable), I'm just finding these little devices really bloody useful and, dare I say it, good fun to use. You don't need some ridiculous spod rod and the result is a lovely, accurate pocket of bait that doesn't sound like an air strike on Kabul. I intended to fish the long pole with casters for the silver fish, but also put out a bonus rod for bigger roach or carp. Joining me was Russ Hilton, who I'd been trying for a while to drag away from the cricket pitch and back to fishing. A good move, because the lake was beautiful and although all the hardcore carpers had bagged the near bank swims, we found some space at the quieter end with a nice, mild breeze pushing towards us. We both enjoyed plenty of bites, with the odd better roach or hybrid thrown in, the odd one over the pound mark: The really exciting part was when the bonus rod surged into life. Lobbing the pole behind me, I savoured a good scrap from a carp. It happened later on too, with regular little top ups of bait grabbing the interest of a better one. The two carp couldn't have been more different. The first was a bit of a mutant: bug eyed and no pelvic fins of any description. The next was absolutely gorgeous though, beautifully dark gold and well proportioned. It took careful playing on relatively light gear: After such an enjoyable day I felt a real appetite for another trip on a decent sized and leafy lake. Trenchford Reservoir seemed a fair bet for a long walk with some lures. Having no pubs next to it, the place also seemed a good place to take Norbert Darby without fear of distractions such as barmaids and cider. The part I'd forgotten is that the place is harder than the Klitschko brothers. We didn't have so much as a whiff of a pike and even with waders, you just couldn't get to around three quarters of the lake. And the bits you could get to were as dead and depressing as Jimmy Saville. Time for a move then- and the predictable irony was that the most concrete part of the urban Exe showed far more signs of life. The walk was just as long, and just as biteless to begin with, although the graffiti art on show was right up our street. Some great B-Movie monsters and quirky humour, and Norbert took a shine to a big lady: The sun was up, we were laughing and pike were there after all, just not quite where I'd expected them. All we needed was a pint of cider, some jokes in such poor taste I can't repeat them, and a bit of a tactical reshuffle. Best of all, we silenced the town's own "I know everything better than you" character in a moment of pure, poetic justice. He'd been busy telling us that he was the mutt's nuts and declared that all the fish were in deep water; I couldn't help but smile sweetly as he caught a tree the same minute Norbert latched into a nice pike in a painfully shallow swim. It's times like this I wonder if perhaps there is such a thing as divine intervention. Karma is a bitch, ain't it?